Please note the following times and dates in your calendar suitable for 2013’s MOON PHASE HARVESTING of timber.
The correct period in which to cut is always between autumn equinox and winter solstice and then within the 3 days leading up to new moon (See the dates and times below).
New moon happens at the same moment across the whole planet, however we would strongly advise that one starts at least 5 minutes after the proscribed new moon time and also stops cutting at least 5 minutes prior the time just to be safe.
Note: We have given the actual new time of the new moon but have also included the 5 minute cut off time..
APRIL: Sunday 7th at 11:35am (start 11:40 to be safe)... until Wednesday 10th 11:35am (stop 11:30am to be safe).
MAY: Tuesday 7that 2:28am (2:33am to be safe)... until Friday 10th 2:28am (2:23am to be safe).
JUNE: Wednesday 5th at 5:56pm (6:01pm to be safe)... until Saturday 8th at 5:56pm (5:51pm to be safe).
Note the times above are South African Time (UCT + 2 hours). So e.g. if you are in Sydney, Australia (UCT + 10 hours) just add another 8 hours to the times. Also note that these Moon Phase Harvesting dates only apply to the Southern Hemisphere. In the Northern Hemisphere the period is between September and December.
Moon Phase Harvesting is an ancient method of preserving timber by cutting wood according to the phases of the moon. Like the tides of the ocean, the moon also influences the rise & fall of the sap in the wood. The wood is cut when the sap is lower, which is in the autumn & winter months i.e. hibernation period. During these months the sap in the tree is at its lowest in the days before the new moon. The lack of sap therefore is a natural protection that prevents insects & fungus from infesting the wood & thus increases its durability.
The trees are left to dry (cure) for 4 – 8 weeks in the forest with their bark, as well as the crown of the tree and a few side branches with leaves left intact. This also reduces the amount of cracking & warping that occurs as the timber dries out.
Further Tips and Information with Moon Phase Harvesting Timber: